Doctor reviewing medical after a car crash | The Haynes Firm

Medical Bills After a Car Crash

June 1, 2023

When you are injured in a car crash, medical bills can quickly begin to compound. Serious injury often demands both emergency and sustained medical intervention, typically involving multiple healthcare professionals in both hospital and clinical settings. In many cases, each of these providers will bill separately, not only adding to medical debt, but often forcing victims of car accidents to choose between who to pay immediately and who to beg for leniency.

According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents cause $339 billion in economic impacts yearly. The medical bills related to car crashes alone account for $30.9 billion of that total sum.

Recovering from an injury is daunting enough. But the stress of trying to stay on top of which bills to pay first can easily be exacerbated by the stress of trying to find a way to pay them at all. When you are not the one who caused your injuries in the first place, this scenario is both unfair and unjust.

The Tennessee car crash attorneys at The Haynes Firm have decades of experience helping victims of serious injury get justice. Call us at 423-928-0165 to schedule your FREE case review and learn more about your options and your rights today.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

Car wrecks often result in serious, debilitating, and life-long injuries, but an injury needn’t be “serious” to have a negative impact. Even injuries that may seem “minor” can make it impossible to work, require medical assistance, and force changes to your quality of life.

Injuries that are common after car crashes include:

  • Head and Brain Injury
  • Neck and Spinal Cord Injury
  • Muscle and Soft Tissue Damage
  • Damage to Internal Organs
  • Broken or Pulverized Bones

Tragically, death is also a common consequence of car accidents. According to a recent report from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, around 1,150 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents in our state every year.

Some non-fatal car crash injuries will produce immediate symptoms. Others, including certain spinal cord injuries, may take several days or even weeks to present symptoms. When you are involved in a car accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, enabling your healthcare provider to evaluate for possible complications. This is true even if you do not believe you have been injured. The sooner a diagnosis can be made for serious issues like traumatic brain injury, the higher the chance of successful treatment.

How Are Medical Bills Paid After a Car Crash?

After a car crash, many people believe the at-fault party‘s auto insurance company will immediately start paying for all related medical care. Sadly, this is seldom the case. The injured party is typically responsible for paying for medical care upfront which, even with the best medical insurance, can pose a serious problem for car crash victims.

After bills have been paid, you can submit them to the at-fault party’s insurance—providing, of course, they have determined their policyholder is at-fault, your medical care was necessary, and the bills you have presented are “reasonable.” If not, your claim may be delayed or denied outright.

Does this sound arbitrary? It is. And that is one of the most compelling reasons to contact our lawyers before you attempt to work with insurance.

What If the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?

In Tennessee, all auto insurance policies must make available coverage for accidents with uninsured/underinsured motorists. When you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.  However, Tennessee allows for waiver of uninsured/underinsured insurance.  That means that if you have selected to waive this type of coverage, you may not be able to rely on it in the event that you are injured by someone without insurance or without sufficient insurance to cover your injuries.  

Uninsured/underinsured coverage contains medical payment provisions that allow policyholders to receive a limited amount of medical care. In addition to medical bills, your auto policy may assist with property repairs, obtaining a rental vehicle, and dealing with other practicalities. Unfortunately, once medical benefits have been exhausted, it may be necessary to begin using your medical insurance for health-related expenses.

The interaction between medical insurance, underinsured motorist insurance, and liability insurance can be quite complicated. It is always advisable to have legal counsel before accepting a settlement offer. Our car accident attorneys will be happy to discuss the best way to access medical care while seeking to maximize the compensation you may be entitled to.

Lifelong Costs

Many car crash injuries will require medical treatment. Some will require treatment for life. The cost of sustained care must be included when considering proper compensation.

Among the most life-altering injuries that can be sustained in a car crash are those to the brain and spinal cord. Depending on the age of the victim at the time of an accident, the lifetime costs of a traumatic brain injury can be in the millions. Spinal cord injury may be even more expensive, with some victims seeing medical costs exceed $1 million in the first year alone.

When you sustain a severe injury, its impact on every aspect of your life must be taken into account. This includes medical expenses, certainly, but also how the injury will impact your ability to support yourself and your family and how it may harm your future financial prospects. In addition, the injury’s impact on your quality of life, your ability to engage in activities, and your emotional and physical comfort should absolutely be considered as part of its lifelong costs.

When you choose The Haynes Firm, you are selecting a team of legal professionals with the experience, tenacity, and resources to help you get justice. As a people-centric firm, we do everything possible, from your initial free consultation onward, to provide you with straightforward and actionable advice, craft a strong and compelling case on your behalf, and fight tooth and nail for the full compensation you are due.

We Are Here to Help After a Car Crash

If you are looking for sound legal advice after a car wreck, The Haynes Firm is here to help. Please contact us today to schedule a FREE case evaluation with one of our experienced lawyers. We welcome cases from car crash victims throughout the Tri-Cities Region.

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